Photo of a man pointing to a newborn held by a nurse inside a nursery at Hermann hospital in Houston, 1949. Placard on far left indicates showing times.

Handmaids, Hospitals, and The Pageantry of the Newborn Nursery Window

Sixteen minutes into the second episode of Hulu’s new Handmaid’s Tale, Offred (Elizabeth Moss), having recently given birth to her first child, follows a nurse to the hospital’s newborn nursery, where her baby will have her first bath. Arriving at the nursery, Offred is taken aback by an unusual sight. “Where are the babies?” she… Read more →

Was the Founding Generation Right to Worry?

On February 13, 2017, thirty-five physicians signed a letter to the New York Times that stated: “We believe that the grave emotional instability indicated by Mr. Trump’s speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as president.” Even a quick glance at social media or political buttons and bumper stickers shows us that these… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Live alone like it’s 1936. The architecture of an asylum. The colorful history of political pins. I’m not “Mrs. Putnam,” I’m Amelia Earhart. A historical perspective on women in surgery. Most scientific research data from the 90s is lost forever. Top scientists sue Salk… Read more →

More Recent Articles

A Quiet Inquisition

When Delma Rosa Gómez was 27 years old, she was diagnosed with advanced stages of metastatic cancer. When she told her physician she was pregnant, they replied that they couldn’t start chemotherapy. “They said any treatment could provoke an abortion. And they couldn’t give me an abortion because it was penalized by law. They said… Read more →

The First Communion Dress: Fashion, Faith, and the Feminization of Catholic Ireland

In late 2012 the Irish Times and National Museum of Ireland selected the Roman Catholic First Communion dress as one of the most important 100 objects in Ireland’s history. A girl’s dress thus took its place alongside bronze age funerary pots and the Book of Kells as items essential to Ireland’s history and culture. Articles… Read more →

History Suggests We Should Be Paying More Attention to Karen Pence

As the U.S. descends into unprecedented political territory with investigations into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia, pundits are scrambling to understand just what Trump is thinking. But history suggests that to understand Trump, we need to look beyond the usual cast of characters and consider some unlikely members of his inner circle. Chief among… Read more →